If You Still Need Help

If You Still Need Help

MUSE:  Meh.  There is another type of therapy, called MUSE.  Johns Hopkins urologist Trinity Bivalacqua, M.D., Ph.D., doesn’t recommend it, but your doctor might talk to you about it, so here’s what it is:  MUSE stands for “Medicated Urethral System for Erections.”  Basically, you take a small plastic plunger, and use it to press a tiny pellet (about the size of a grain of rice) into the tip of the penis.  When it dissolves, it triggers an erection.  It can also burn.  “Many men complain of a burning pain in the penis after inserting the pellet,” says Bivalacqua.   Also, “the erection that you get is soft; it is not very rigid.”  And, just as with the Tri-mix used in injection therapy , your urologist will need to determine the right dosage for you.  “Some men may need double or triple the standard dose, but other men are so sensitive to the medication that they have actually fainted with the highest test dose.”  Compared to an injection, “MUSE is nowhere near as effective.”

Penile Prosthesis

Instead, if pills or injections are not a good long-term solution, Bivalacqua recommends a penile prosthesis.  “The device is just phenomenal,” he says.  “Pills like Viagra are popular, because they’re easy to take, and when they work, they’re great.  But the next most popular option is the penile prosthesis, and it works as advertised 100 percent of the time.”  

It also looks 100 percent natural.  It’s not some cyborg penis.  For all practical purposes, it is your actual penis – just more reliable.

A penile prosthesis is an implant.  It requires surgery to put it in.  The procedure takes about an hour, and although it can be done on an outpatient basis, many urologists have their patients stay overnight.

How it works:  Hydraulics.  “The device is made up of two extremely compact, hollow cylinders,” explains Bivalacqua.  These come in a variety of widths and lengths.  “A small container that holds fluid is inserted in the lower part of the abdomen, and a pump is implanted in the scrotum. “  To get an erection, you squeeze the pump several times.  This sends fluid from the reservoir to the inflatable cylinders, which then expand, making the penis get longer and wider – just as in a regular erection.  Afterward, you squeeze a valve at the top of the pump, the fluid returns to the container in the abdomen, and the erection goes away.  “The device is extremely durable and reliable,” says Bivalacqua.

 

Terms to know from this article:

urologist

A doctor who has special training in diagnosing and treating diseases of the urinary organs in females and the urinary and reproductive organs in males.

Janet Farrar Worthington is an award-winning science writer and has written and edited numerous health publications and contributed to several other medical books.

In addition to writing on medicine, Janet also writes about her family, her former life on a farm in Virginia, her desire to own more chickens, and whichever dog is eyeing the dinner dish.